This Moment by DD Agent
This is a 'what if' story set after 7.22 'Dark Side of the Moon'. What if Daphne had a moment with Niles before the bridal shower? Spoilers up to said episode.
Disclaimer: Niles, Daphne, and assorted Frasier-ness do not belong to me. The lucky people who do are elsewhere.
This is my first Frasier fanfiction, so please be nice! And reviews are always lovely!
Daphne went to knock at the door, but something inside her stopped her from reaching out. What was she doing? Niles had asked her to come and help him make sticky toffee pudding on a Saturday night of all nights. She had assumed he would be at the opera with Mel, or at some bistro with Frasier. She had interpreted their meeting as him telling her all about his feelings. But then she had been wrong before, like at Christmas. What if it wasn't that at all? What if he did really want to make sticky toffee pudding?
But what if he did want to tell her? Daphne sighed and looked confused at the door. There were so many thoughts running through her head she didn't know which ones to follow and which ones to dismiss. She didn't know what she was doing outside Niles Crane's apartment in the first place. She was with Donny, she loved Donny. At least that was what she thought.
She slumped by the wall outside Niles' apartment, not sure whether to knock or not. Daphne thought back to all the times she and him had been alone. The Snowball. The argument with Sherry. There had always been that little spark between them but she had ignored it. Probably because he was a snob like his brother who would normally look down on someone like her. But he never did, and he was her snob.
"Oh God, I'm in love with Doctor Crane."
It was at that point that the door next to her opened. Niles was poking his head out and looking up and down the corridor, most likely for her. His eyes finally saw her and he smiled at the sight of Daphne. Opening the door further, she saw he was dressed in a suit, probably with the braces he seemed to favour. How I would love to snap his braces, Daphne thought. She blushed as Niles fixed his gaze on her.
"Daphne are you alright?"
"I'm not sure. Sit with me Doctor Crane?"
Niles nodded and pulled the door to a close. He sat a little too close to her than a friend would, and Daphne found that very comforting. He decided to let her lead the conversation.
"Have you ever been in love Doctor Crane?" Daphne asked, staring at him with her deep brown eyes. He swallowed before facing her. The conversation was going in a way that Niles was not entirely comfortable discussing as it would involve Donny. He wasn't sure if he could be impartial. Looking up at her, he felt like he was drowning in the depths of her eyes. He would happily let the ocean swallow him whole.
"Once or twice."
"Have you ever been in love with someone who didn't return your feelings?" Alarm bells started ringing in his mind. Donny did return Daphne's feelings, so it was either she who had issues of unrequited love, or…she knew. That's what it had to be! Who had told her? Was it Frasier? Dad? Ros? Most likely Ros.
"Once or twice."
Niles realised that Daphne had shifted closer to him. She reached down and took his hand and held it tightly for a few moments. Daphne turned to him and leaned forward to rest her forehead against his. She was closer than she had ever been to him. Her hair smelled so rich, and her lips were so red. She was perfect.
"Tell me Niles, tell me the truth," Daphne whispered in his ear, her lips tickling his skin. It was the finest moment of his life, and when he opened his eyes to see her, he knew that she knew.
"I love you Daphne," her breathing hitched for a few moments and Niles tilted his chin so his lips kissed her forehead. Getting no response, he kissed her closed eyelids, her cheeks and then lightly on her mouth. She tasted like chocolate and honey. Their lips met again, this time their tongues intertwining with each other. He sucked on her bottom lip, causing her to cry out. After what seemed like an eternity in heaven, they broke apart and stared at each other in a new light.
"You don't need to say anything Niles," she replied, taking his hands in her eyes. The both stood up and watched each other absorb what they had just done. Daphne linked her arms around his neck to make sure that he didn't run a mile. Not that he would, he wasn't that sort of man.
"Daphne you need to know…"
"I know that you love me. What else do I need to know?" Niles pinched his arm to make sure that he wasn't dreaming, because this was his fantasy in the flesh. All the people inside waiting for Daphne's shower were forgotten as his hands encircled her waist and brought her closer to him. They began to kiss each other again, slowly, and languidly, both of them savouring the moment.
The shower's guests were still on the upper level of Niles' apartment, waiting for Daphne to enter and Niles to give the cue. He had gone out to check for her several moments ago and he had not returned. Donny was getting worried, but Frasier wasn't surprised.
"I bet he's told her the entire thing. I'll just go out and get him."
Frasier made his way down the stairs to the front door.
Daphne was up against the door, Niles kissing her neck. She never knew that a kiss could be so erotic, but from Niles it was pure bliss. She knew it was wrong, she had a fiancé and he a girlfriend. But his love for her was obvious in every move he made around her. How could she have been blind for so long? His lips returned to her mouth and she found herself flying. Literally.
Looking up, she saw that the door had been wrenched open and that Frasier was watching the scene with some trepidation. Niles removed his hands from Daphne's waist, and she took her hands off of his chest. Frasier's face was pure fury as he closed the door slightly. While Daphne believed that she would be the target for his tongue lashing, it was Niles he rounded upon.
"What is going on here?" Frasier hissed, fully conscious about what was going on in the apartment behind him.
"Frasier…I can explain…" Niles began, but Frasier waved his hand and started hitting his brother on the arm.
"Niles I can't believe you! We have a bridal shower in here for Daphne and here you are making out with the bride!" Niles had finally gotten tired of Frasier hitting him and struck back with a few weak hits to his torso.
"She started it Frasier!"
"And you were perfectly happy to go along with it!"
"You planned a bridal shower? Well that's so sweet, thank you Doctor Crane" Daphne replied, moving both the Crane boys apart. Frasier noticed how Niles and Daphne exchanged looks, and he decided to let their actions pass for now. He would get the full picture later on.
"I think we should all get in here before people begin to get suspicious. We'll talk about this later."
The three entered and attempted to act surprised. But all Daphne could think about was how she wanted to be the one in Niles' arms, not Mel. Niles couldn't stop looking at how happy Daphne seemed to be around Donny, and he wanted to be the one doing that to her. Frasier watched both of them, and realised the sad truth that they had finally discovered each other.
The toilet paper bridal gown competition was in full swing, and Daphne had just downed her third glass of champagne. Anything to dull out the memory of Niles' lips on her neck. Mel blew the whistle sharply, alerting Daphne to the end of the game. The three brides were presented, Donny, Mr Crane, and Ros. Ros was easily the best, but she could see Niles and Mr Crane fussing over the time spent on sketches. Typical Niles.
"I think we have a winner. Team B!" Daphne cried, downing her fourth glass. Frasier looked slightly dejected, and also suspicious, as she had chosen Niles' team. Mr Crane was delighted.
"I make a wonderful bride, don't I?"
"Absolutely perfect Mr Crane."
She caught Niles' eye and he smiled at her, folding away his sketches. She gave an apologetic look to Frasier, who just gave her a sad smile in return.
Simon had been dragged home and stationed on Frasier's couch. Mr Crane was in his chair, chatting to her brother about sport. Niles was at home in his apartment. Daphne was alone in her room, watching the clock. She heard a knock and didn't even have to turn around to see that it was Frasier.
"Daphne I think we need to talk."
"Well I don't."
Frasier chose not to listen to her, and instead joined her on the bed.
"You are engaged to Donny. He is seeing Mel…" Frasier began, but Daphne turned to him with tears in her eyes.
"You don't think I know that Doctor Crane? I'm not an idiot. Your brother loves me and I think I love him."
"Be that as it may…"
"Please leave Doctor Crane, I don't really want to talk tonight."
He obeyed her, slinking out of the room and closing the door shut. After lying on her duvet crying for ten minutes, she decided she needed to see Niles. She knew that Mel wouldn't be over, she had an early operation tomorrow morning. Daphne could have him all to herself.
Niles hadn't been able to sleep, and as he opened the door realised that Daphne hadn't been able to either. He invited her in, and they both sat still on the fainting couch. It was Daphne who finally broke the silence.
"I don't regret what we did Niles. I haven't enjoyed myself so much in a long time."
"I don't regret it either Daphne," he replied, clasping one of her hands. "Good, " was the hushed answer before both of them delved into each other's mouths once again.
Daphne undid the buttons on Niles shirt, opening the skin up to her mouth. He found himself backed onto the couch with Daphne on top of him. His hands found the creamy skin of her back, and he felt her shudder at his touch. They continued their exploration of each other's bodies before taking stock and looking at each other.
"I'm going to hate myself tomorrow, but we can't do this Daphne. I'm with Mel, you're engaged to Donny," Niles explained and Daphne sighed before sitting up. He could feel parts of his anatomy kicking other parts, but he had to do this right.
Daphne smoothed down her shirt and turned to Niles who wasn't making any attempt to do up his buttons. She rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
"You're right. But you don't love Mel."
"I don't. I love you," Niles whispered, kissing her on the forehead.
"I don't love Donny. I love you."
The younger of the Crane brothers turned to his love for a moment before smiling. He ran his fingers down her face, before running them across her lips. They kissed briefly as they laid on the couch and let the race of each other's heart beats ground them. They sat there until morning, both of them enjoying the sensation and the moment of being together.
- X -